Around 41% or 116 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly. That’s a lot of people. Podcasts have become one of the best online mediums to reach audiences worldwide because of their availability. If you miss an episode, you can get to it whenever you’re free, wherever you are.
Because podcasts are easy to access, many groups make these on-demand radio shows for their communities. Churches also use this medium to spread the Good Word and tap into the younger generation. But millennials and Gen Z individuals can get bored fast. If your Sunday sermons are losing traction, you may need to apply a few changes to gather your community and make them stay.
Here are some ideas to engage your listeners and help them grow spiritually:
1. Don’t Limit Yourself To One Platform
Podcasts are accessible to anyone with Wi-Fi and a phone or laptop. But not everyone prefers listening on the same platform. Some enjoy listening to pure audio, while others would rather listen and watch people speak at the same time.
If you want to reach out to both types, you’ll need to stream in places other than the usual favorites like Spotify or YouTube. Simulcasting allows you to connect with more people through multiple platforms simultaneously. To do this, find an application that offers simulcasting options to your preferred media.
You can check out https://melonapp.com/solutions/church-live-streaming/ for a streaming app made for a church podcast’s needs. Make your regular episodes more appealing by customizing your live videos and chatting with your audience in real-time. Your viewers and listeners will feel like they’re actively part of the service instead of only absorbing information passively.
2. Make Things More Casual
One thing that easily captures the younger generation is relatability. It’s a simple thing, but many ministries tend to forget this and stick with the dated methods they’re used to doing. Instead of a deep and serious podcast, try explaining the Word of God in a way that’s relatable for the youth of today.
Relate Bible stories and passages with current events. It’s an excellent way to keep your audience up to date with global news, too, and allow them to contribute to the worldwide community. You can talk about anything that’s not explicitly ‘Christian’ but still tie anecdotes to church teachings.
A casual worship service that incorporates the average person’s everyday life attracts more people than straightforward preaching. It might even lead those astray back to the flock.
3. Invite Guests
Like radio and TV, podcasts are not just a one-person show. You can be the sole host, but worship services should include others in the discussion.
Every so often, invite a guest or two to feature in one of your episodes. Interviews serve to connect and learn more from other people. Your church is sure to have many individuals with stories and life lessons to share. Use your podcast to give them a platform to impart their messages to your community. It’s always great to hear the thoughts of others regarding a particular topic. And it’s also one way to hear different sides of the same story.
Hold Q&A sessions with guests who have expertise in the topic of your podcast if you have one. For example, if you’re preaching about juggling school and worship, invite a teacher or another pastor to relay sound advice to your younger listeners.
Your audience might enjoy listening to someone else from the church in the same circumstances as they are. It’s a fantastic way to engage your listeners and let them know that they’re not alone. Make sure that you have the proper gear for handling a podcast with a guest, though. You could have the most fruitful conversation, but this won’t get across well because your listeners couldn’t hear it.
4. Build An Online Community
While you and your audience may be members of the same religious community, it won’t hurt to start a Facebook or Discord group, too. Creating a page dedicated to your podcast allows your listeners to interact with their fellow listeners. The page is also a way to inform your audience about upcoming episodes, news, and other information.
Having social media pages allows your audience to share your posts and episode links, too. You could gather more people to tune in to your podcast. Just don’t forget to link back to your church’s official website as well.
5. Welcome And Respond To Feedback
Any group, non-profit or otherwise, needs to listen to clientele feedback to improve their services. While you don’t sell anything via your spiritual podcast, you’re still offering a worship service to those in your church in various locations. And if your community isn’t satisfied with your offers, they may not look forward to your next episode.
Responding to audience feedback is crucial when you have a podcast. People might ask you to discuss spiritual topics they want to hear about. Or they may seek advice from a trusted church leader anonymously through the podcast. You can address them at the beginning or end of your episodes to let people know that you see their concerns.
As part of a ministry, it’s part of your responsibility to ensure your listeners get the spiritual help they need. Many people enjoy knowing that their feedback gets responses. If they’re satisfied, they’ll happily promote your podcast to others and even leave you excellent reviews. When you’re getting good ratings, you’re sure that most of your audience is happy and expectant for future episodes.
Spread The Good Word
Preaching used to be limited to physical areas like attending mass in church. In this day and age, it has gone online and is reaching greater distances. Especially during the pandemic, many people are stuck at home, worried, and maybe even sick.
The availability of religious podcasts helps those who yearn for the company of their church. They can watch or listen to spiritual teachings while in the comfort of their own homes and never feel that they’re apart from their community.